Day of Arrival

I am surprised with how smoothly everything has gone so far. Our flights were difficult, but only due to length. We left Toronto at 9.50pm on Saturday, and we arrived at Khanty-Mansiysk at 2am today. That is 22 hours of travelling, plus transportation to and from airports. We had some minor troubles at airports, which always happens when travelling in such a large group, but they were all overcome with ease. We arrived to the hotel at around 3am, everybody with their luggage.

So far, everything has run really smoothly. I’m a bit surprised about that. The hotel is brand new, which does have its advantages and disadvantages. The rooms smell like fresh paint. The beds are very small. But the rooms are big. The showers are pretty nice. We have fridges. The food is good.

The time difference is 10 hours. It’s not that easy to get used to. I feel like the long trip might actually help us get used to it, since our biological clock is already so off as it is. Resetting it might be faster than adjusting it.

The opening ceremony is taking place today. Thomas and I decided not to go. I can’t say that I am proud of it, but we had our reasons. We decided to go to the gym instead in an attempt to stay healthy. Working out is a good way to get rid of jetlag and fatigue.

This will be my fifth Olympiad. I attended the first four opening ceremonies. I can’t say that I was ever too impressed. The fact that we have to take a shuttle bus to it and then wait for it to start and listen to boring speeches and then take the shuttle bus back doesn’t help. The performances are the only good part, plus socialization, which can happen anywhere as it is.

We already had a bit of a local experience today. A large part of the team went into the city to exchange money and buy some groceries. It’s definitely an advantage to speak Russian everywhere, since people’s English is usually quite poor. Thomas and I also walked around some extremely Russian looking kiosks and bought some traditional Russian “Blinchiki”. They were very good.

Overall, the service is great. All the people are very nice. It feels like people in the smaller city of Khanty-Mansiysk are generally nicer and more relaxed than those in a bigger city like Moscow. Just an opinion. I am very impressed with everything about the event so far. Coming in, I was quite sceptical.

Round 1 is tomorrow. Rounds start at 3pm local time. That’s 5am Toronto time. Anybody who will be following our games live is a trooper. We are all here to play. Everything else is secondary. We will do everything we can to make Canada proud!


3 Responses to Day of Arrival

  1. Larry Bevand says:

    Good luck to the Canadian team!

    Thanks for covering this event for us Mark.


  2. Hans Jung says:

    Good Luck and good games to Team Canada! Thanks for the informative comments Mark. We’re rooting for you.

  3. jim from Winnipeg says:

    Good luck Mark to you and the rest of our team(s). Please relay that we are all quite proud of our Olympic Team Members . GO CANADA GO !
    p.s Great start in round one.

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